With the takeover seemingly just waiting official confirmation, I wanted to take a look at our squad to decide which players could still have a long-term future in the North East.
During Manchester City’s takeover the owners adopted a two phase strategy to improve their squad.
The first phase saw a steady recruitment of experienced Premier League players. These players were already familiar with Premier League football, and therefore provided a secure path to improvement.
During the second phase of recruitment, talent was sourced from abroad. This phase included more risk, but also allowed big potential talents to be bought in at smaller, yet still significant prices.
We will therefore judge our current squad on the basis of being replaced in Phase One, or Phase Two of the recruitment, while also discussing those who could still remain at SJP long term, even following a hefty cash injection.
Martin Dubravka – Long-Term Future: Even if large investment is made in our squad, I still believe Dubravka should keep his place. He’s made the most saves of any PL keeper and provides a sense of assurance to our backline.
Karl Darlow – Phase One Departure: Don’t get me wrong Darlow has been a good squad player, earning us some vital points during our Championship campaign. The memorable match against Nottingham Forest, which saw the keeper save two penalties in a single match is probably the highlight. I just think the recruitment of an experienced PL keeper would threaten Dubravka, and potentially improve his performances even more.
Freddie Woodman – Long-Term Future: We haven’t seen much of Woodman in a Newcastle United shirt, however he appears to be a very promising talent. Representing England at a youth level, I think it would be a good idea for him to stay on Tyneside. He will either challenge the number 1 spot in the future, or be sold for a decent fee due to his England performances.
Jamaal Lascelles – Long-Term Future: Our club captain, a great leader and a brilliant defender. It is true his play on the ball could improve, but at the end of the day defenders are there to make the attackers life hard. I think Jamaal could lead us forward throughout the takeover.
Fabian Schar – Long-Term Future: One of the smoothest players around. The Swiss always seems to have time on the ball and does enjoy an occasional dribble out of defence. Great all round defender, capable of long range passes, smart in possession, solid defender, and loves a spectacular goal.
Florian Lejeune – Second Phase Departure: This decision was hard, but to improve dramastically we need to be ruthless with our squad. Some would argue the Frenchman is our best defender, however his injury record is my main drawback. It is not only the gametime he loses on these injuries, but the match sharpness he lacks on return, and the possible long-term impacts these may have.
Federico Fernandez – Second Phase Departure: The Argentinian has proven to be a shrewd signing for the club. Never shying away from a tackle, he has been a consistent performer. I just believe age is against him, while a younger player would be more beneficiary of a squad place.
Ciaran Clark – First Phase Departure: Another tricky decision in relation to our central defenders, underlining the great defenders we have at the club. I feel Clark has fallen out of favour throughout this campaign, and so would depart SJP for the initial recruitment to begin.
DeAndre Yedlin – Second Phase Departure: The pacey full-back has been a solid performer for the club. His pace can shift a counter attack in Newcastle’s favour, but his defensive shortcomings result in him departing the North East during the second phase.
Javier Manquillo – Second Phase Departure: This would have been different story at the start of the season but the Spaniard has surprised us all this season. He has been putting in solid performances week in week out and full back and deserves at least another couple of years on Tyneside.
Paul Dummett – First Phase Departure: Not played much recently after falling down the pecking order. Would be a good signing for a different Premier League club, but would need to depart for us to progress.
Emil Krath – First Phase Departure: Some of you may be thinking ‘Who is this?’. After only a handful of below par performances the signing of Krath raises so many questions. Even without a takeover I cant see him remaining on Tyneside.
Danny Rose – Second Phase Departure: If we do sign Rose permanently, I believe he could be an important player over the next few years. WIth this in mind, he is not getting younger and will likely be replaced by a younger full back.
Jetro Willems – Long-Term Future: Again another loan signing, I really hope we see the Dutchman back at SJP. He’s been so refreshing to see, attacking brilliantly from full back, forming a great partnership with ASM, and providing defensive solidarity.
The Longstaff Brothers – Long-Term Future: There is a reason our fanbase have been so desperate to see the Longstaff’s sign their contract extensions. The pair make a great midfield partnership, complementing each others playing styles. There is no better site than a local Geordie netting a goal at SJP, so the two young midfielders should remain at Newcastle for their long-term futures.
Jonjo Shelvey – Second Phase Departure: I like Jonjo Shelvey, he is one of those players that you enjoy watching. With this being said he is not the complete Premier League midfielder of a top team, he has excellent passing ability, but does seem to lack energy and is not far away from a disciplinary issue.
Isaac Hayden – Long-Term Future: This view may cause controversy, but I dont think Hayden gets the credit he deserves. A solid anchor to our midfield, he is the type of player any great team has. He focuses on the simple aspects of the game, winning the ball back and keeping possession for his team. I believe the future of Hayden is in his hands really, with the desire to move South cropping up each transfer window.
Nabil Bentaleb – First Phase Departure: To be honest I have been disappointed with the Algerian’s performances in black and white. Previously playing for Tottenham and Schalke, I thought this could be a real coup for us. However, he still appears to lack match fitness, and I would be surprised to see his loan turn permanent.
Allan Saint-Maximin – Long-Term Future: The easiest choice from our squad. The Frenchman brings excitement to the pitch, while slowly improving his end product. The younger winger is only going to get better and I think it would be hard to find anyone that would disagree with this choice.
Miguel Almiron – Long-Term Future: The relentless South American is truly a fan favourite. Following his difficult start to life at Newcastle, where things weren’t quite clicking in front of goal, he cant seem to stop scoring recently. A player I would like to see stay for a long time, with the addition of better players around him I think Almiron can get even better.
Christian Atsu – First Phase Departure: Atsu struggles to have an impact on games nowadays and would need to be replaced to begin our squad improvement.
Matt Ritchie – Second Phase Departure: Ritchie is the type of player you need at a football club, someone who takes pride in every segment of their work, this being either training, pre-season or on a matchday. The Scot makes sure his team are aware of their responsibilities, however his playing ability is sometimes questioned. In order for improvement to be made, players like Ritchie would need to depart.
Valentino Lazaro – Second Phase Departure: A very difficult player to assess. He has been played out of position throughout most of his loan spell. When played in his favoured right wing position he has showed glimpses of potential. I feel we’d need to see him on Tyneside for a bit longer before committing either way.
Joelinton – Long-Term Future: No matter how this season unfolds, I still believe there is a player here. The Brazilian has shown some neat passages, but he is not an out and out striker. I feel that playing in his correct position, on the left, surrounded by bettter players, we will see him come good.
Andy Carroll – First Phase Departure: Bought in on a free transfer in order to win over some Newcastle fans. His return to Tyneside hasn’t excelled, with no goals throughout the campaign. It was nice having the striker back home, but with the owners coming in with ambition Carroll would need to make way for reinforcements.
Yoshinori Muto – First Phase Departure: Not really up for debate. The Japanese international has never got going at Newcastle and will be seeking a move away to get his career back on track.
Dwight Gayle – First Phase Departure: Unfortunately Gayle just can’t seem to find the back of the net in the Premier League. He was pivotal in gaining us promotion from the Championship, but this is where he should be playing. If made available there would not be a shortage of Championship clubs desperate for his signature.
What do you make of the decisions? Be sure to let us know in the comment section or on any of our social media platforms!
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